Muthur Muslims lose lands to govt. program
Muthur Muslims have complained of their lands being lost under the govt’s program “Api Wawamu Rata Hadamu”. A public notice is out in Muthur area complaining that the Muthur Muslims are losing their paddy lands under the “Let us grow more food to build the Nation” program launched by the govt. These lands include the paddy lands and highlands located in areas in Sambaada Aaru, Uppu Adasal, Murivu, Kattaivulundaan, Vellainaaval, Maraikkan Haaji Vettai, 15th Vaaikkaal, 14th Vaaikkaal, Padukaadu, Vavunavillu, according to this public notice.
The English transalation of the public notice with its title reads as follows:
Deliberate encroachment of our traditional lands
Misgivings held by our Muthur people with regard to the lands owned by Muslims in the areas liberated from the clutches of the Tigers following the military victory in the East are being confirmed now. It is now evident that the traditional lands belonging to our people who stepped forward to cultivate with the earnest intention of “Let us grow more food to build the Nation” just like many others is being craftily acquired for the majority community. The poor farmers who are victimised as a result of this colonisation scheme are in great shock and dismay.
These include the paddy lands and highlands located in areas in Sambaada Aaru, Uppu Adasal, Murivu, Kattaivulundaan, Vellainaaval, Maraikkan Haaji Vettai, 15th Vaaikkaal, 14th Vaaikkaal, Padukaadu, Vavunavillu. The farmer community of Muthur whose main livelihood is agriculture has lost almost everything and are now on the verge of losing even the agricultural lands that remain in their possessions. .
An attempt was made at encroaching large extent of lands belonging to the Muslims under the guise of a fencing project against elephants. This project that was initiated last month by the Ministry of Nation Building at a meeting held in the Divisional Secretariat is alleged to acquire land for corn cultivation for Sinhala farmers by including the Muslim farmers’ lands into an extended elephant fence.
On this basis, the demarcation for fencing against elephants in a limited area agreed upon by the entire Farmers’ societies in the DS division was changed overnight and extended new boundaries were re-demarcated in a move at grabbing land from our people. Our innocent Muslim farmers have been thus deceived. The people of Muthur have been relying on these lands for not only their farming needs but also for cattle rearing, freshwater fishing, and firewood occupation and even for future settlement needs. But they are losing all under their very noses.
Muthur Muslims are faced with a serious land scarcity problem. In this context, farmers are both enraged and dismayed at losing the lands that they have been carefully clearing and tilling for nearly 60 years to total strangers. Isn’t there anyone who can intercede and intervene on their behalf, the people lament.
Dear people of Muthur! The land grab attempt is not only the trouble of the said farmers. It is definitely going to have repercussions on the future survival and security of our entire community. Therefore, we must all stand united against this injustice for the benefit of our future generation beyond and regardless of political, communal, regional and other differences.
Respected political leaders! The people who elected you as leaders are now stranded. Therefore forget all disparities and intervene to bring a solution to these people soon. The entire population of Muthur is carefully scrutinizing how you will act to relieve these people.
– Oppressed farmers –